Kings Cross Steelers seal victory in historic fixture with Braintree
- Credit: Archant
Kings Cross Steelers sealed a 26-23 victory at Braintree to commemorate the first win the Steelers ever had.
The club, who were founded in 1995 as the first ever gay inclusive rugby club in the world, were struggling to establish themselves and close to folding due to a lack of players being willing to play.
They did however snatch a victory from Braintree to seal their first-ever win and it was celebrated with the presentation of a white stiletto as a trophy.
Since then the match is played each year where both sides battle for the white stiletto.
Lord Robert Hayward, President and a founder of the Kings Cross Steelers, said: “After two years of struggling to find enough players and then to win games we were very close to folding.
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“Fate had it that we won the game against Braintree fourths.
“This brought us together and gave Steelers the motivation to continue.
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“I’m sure it hurt to be the first team to lose to us, but they have been unbelievably supportive since.”
James Cleverly, MP for Braintree, added: “The creation of the Kings Cross Steelers RFC 20 years ago represents a milestone in LGBT history.
“As the first-ever inclusive team they’ve gone on to inspire others all over the world to do the same.
“I am proud that a rugby club in my constituency, Braintree RFC, plays such a rich part of the club’s history.
“Regardless of who wins it is an important message that sport is for all, regardless of sexuality.”
Kings Cross Steelers chairman Matt Webb also went on to praise the traditional clash, saying: “The club owes a depth of gratitude to Braintree RFC.
“This was the first team the Steelers won against and it spurred the founding members on to create the building blocks for the club we see today.
“This game is hugely important as it gives us the opportunity to remember where we started from and why, 23 years ago, an inclusive rugby club was needed.
“We’re proud to call them friends and uphold this tradition.”